President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the Chadians on the demise of their ex-president, Idriss Deby, saying his demise “will surely create a big vacuum in the efforts to jointly confront the Boko Haram terrorists and the Islamic State West Africa Province.”
Buhari stated this in a statement signed by his spokesman Garba Shehu on Tuesday.
Reacting to the incident on Tuesday, President Buhari said he was “deeply shocked and devastated by the sudden death of Idriss Deby on the battlefront to defend the sovereignty of his country.”
According to him, “the late Deby had played a very active role in our regional joint collaboration in the military campaign against the Boko Haram terrorists.”
He further described the late Chadian leader “as a friend of Nigeria who had enthusiastically lent his hand in our efforts to defeat the murderous Boko Haram terrorists that have posed grave security challenges not only for Nigeria but also our African neighbours, particularly Chad, Cameroon and the Niger Republic.”
He added that “the death of Deby will surely create a big vacuum in the efforts to jointly confront the Boko Haram terrorists and the Islamic State West Africa Province.”
While condoling with the people of Chad and their new leader, President Buhari called for greater collaboration to defeat the terrorists.
Meanwhile, the Chadian army had reported Deby’s passing out on Tuesday while fighting rebels in the north of the Sahel country and sustained injuries.
His death was announced only the day after the 68-year-old was proclaimed the winner of a presidential election that had given him a sixth term in office.
The army noted this Deby had been commanding his army at the weekend as it battled against rebels who had launched a major incursion into the north of the country on election day.
The 68 years ex-president had ruled Chad for three decades however, he was a key ally in the West’s anti-jihadist campaign in the troubled Sahel region.
The army however said the late president’s son, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, (37) a four-star general, would replace the late president in leading the military council.